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Views and perceptions of local council partners concerning a regional-scale health promotion initiative in rural Australia


Le, Q and Auckland, S and Nguyen, HB and Terry, DR, Views and perceptions of local council partners concerning a regional-scale health promotion initiative in rural Australia, Universal Journal of Public Health, 2, (7) pp. 181-188. ISSN 2331-8880 (2014) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2014 Horizon Research Publishing All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.13189/ujph.2014.020701


There are a number of risk factors which increasingly impact the health and wellbeing of Australians, particularly in rural communities. To address the health and wellbeing of communities, local governments are taking on a more focused role by supporting healthy community initiatives (HCI). This paper presents local council partners perceptions concerning a regional-scale health promotion initiative that was undertaken in rural Tasmania, Australia. The evaluation provides insight into the future decisions and strategies that may be developed to improve processes, methods and outcomes of health initiatives undertaken by local governments. The study used a mixed methods approach collecting data through a questionnaire, focus group discussions and interviews with stakeholders and participating councils to provide an understanding of the effectiveness and success of, and barriers to, the health promotion initiative. It was found that there was an emphasis by local councils on programs that promoted physical activities, while programs that focused on healthy food and other health promotion topics, such as quit smoking and healthy workplaces were less emphasised. Overall, the health promotion initiative was perceived to be effective; however, there was little measureable evidence as to the outcomes of the various projects within the initiative and there was concern regarding the sustainability of the initiative beyond the funding timeframe. Community based, health promotion interventions are complex. Local government are suitably placed to deliver health promotion initiatives, as they have a greater understanding and can affect the greatest change by investing in projects with the highest priority among those communities within their boundaries. Nevertheless, sustainability of projects beyond funding allocation, while building and improving partnerships among local governments, and service agencies to pool resources and capture specific target groups must be central to ongoing initiatives.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:local government, health promotion, health initiative, physical activity, sustainability, success, barriers
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Public health
Research Field:Health promotion
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Le, Q (Dr Quynh Le)
UTAS Author:Auckland, S (Mr Stuart Auckland)
UTAS Author:Nguyen, HB (Dr Hoang Nguyen)
UTAS Author:Terry, DR (Mr Daniel Terry)
ID Code:96830
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2014-11-22
Last Modified:2015-04-10

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